He has also been barred from politics for five years.
comes two days after Berlusconi, 76, said he will not run for premier in upcoming elections. "The three-time premier stepped down last November after Italy came under mounting market pressure to deal with its high debt load and Berlusconi failed to come up with persuasive financial reforms," according to AP
The sentence came in a trial focused
on the purchase of rights to show US films on television. Prosecutors said the defendants were behind
a scam to purchase the rights to broadcast U.S. movies on Berlusconi's private television networks through a series of offshore companies and had falsely declared the payments to avoid taxes.
In Italy, cases must pass two levels of appeal before the verdicts are final, according
to Sky News. Berlusconi is expected to appeal the decision.
The 50th prime minister of Italy, Berlusconi served in office from 2008 to 2011. He faced a fair share of controversy during his career, such as the allegations
he paid Moroccan nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug for sexual services between February and May 2010.